Monkeypox deemed notifiable disease

Date published: 08 June 2022

From 7 June 2022, the Department of Health has deemed Monkeypox a notifiable disease in Northern Ireland.

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The move requires medical practitioners to share information with the Public Health Agency (PHA) if they are aware that a person they are attending has Monkeypox or if they have reasonable grounds for suspecting so.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Michael McBride said: “Whilst Monkeypox has been detected across the UK, cases of the disease remain rare.  The Public Health Agency has been working closely with Trusts and GPs to raise awareness of the disease and this move formalises that arrangement.”

The virus can be passed on through close person to person contact, or contact with items used by a person who has Monkeypox.  The disease is self-limiting and most people will recover within a few weeks. 

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

Anyone who thinks they have been at risk of exposure should limit their contact with others and speak to their GP or GUM clinic without delay.  Please phone first ahead of a visit to a healthcare facility.

Clinicians should be alert to individuals presenting with rashes without a clear alternative diagnosis and should contact specialist services for advice and share information with the PHA.

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Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department of Health has today amended the Public Health Act (Northern Ireland) 1967 has been amended to make Monkeypox a notifiable disease.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email
  3. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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